Your age and experience in politics: 49 years-old. First time candidate.
Profession outside of politics? Radio presenter
Why are you running for the seat of Dubbo? I’ve spent over a decade on breakfast radio in this region listening to the people of the electorate through good times and bad. My decision to run is based on the commitment I have to this area, and my passion to see the strong delivery of the past eight years continue into the future. I want to make sure our communities get the services and infrastructure we deserve, so future generations can thrive in the bush. That includes providing opportunities for businesses to grow, unlocking our region’s potential, and building on our success as a regional tourism destination.
Why should people vote for the party you stand for? The values of the Nationals are quite simple and include:
- equal opportunity for all to contribute to and share in the wealth of our nation.
- every Australian having a right to the best possible education
- private enterprise and ownership with minimum government interference
- the young, the aged and the disadvantaged are entitled to the support of society and to receive appropriate help to live in comfort and dignity.
- lower taxes, smaller government and individual economic freedom
- the development of our economy, the decentralisation of population and services, and the balanced protection of our environment.
What are the top three issues in the electorate? My community surveys clearly indicate the top issues are access to health, better roads, and connectivity. The Nationals are delivering a re-developed hospital for Dubbo and a new hospital for Mudgee with better access to doctors and all other health services, including 380 new nurses and health workers for the region. Investment in roads is at an all-time high, with $31.9 billion spent on Regional NSW roads since 2011, and a budget of around $50 million for this year. Connectivity issues and mobile black spots are being targeted with a $400 million investment into more towers and data hubs.
Why should people vote for you? I have been listening to and talking with people about the issues affecting them and their communities for a long time. I’m a part of the community, along with my family, and I understand what that means when it comes to sticking up for what’s important. I want to make sure this region continues to grow and is able to take advantage of the opportunities that are coming. I will do that by having a seat at the government table to deliver for the electorate.
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How do you propose to bring more jobs to the electorate? This region is on the crest of a wave around jobs growth and jobs creation. The rail maintenance facility announced by the Nationals is one of those job creators, with a couple of hundred jobs during construction, and around 60 ongoing roles. Health workers are on the increase with a total of 380 more nurses and allied health workers promised for this region, and with new hospitals in Dubbo and Mudgee employment opportunities will continue to rise. It’s only the Nationals who are helping local business owners of all types pay less payroll tax and employ more people.
What is your stance on renewable energy? I believe in a mix of all power, and that is exactly what is happening in NSW now. In our region there is a real need to balance a move towards renewables with keeping productive agricultural land in production. More than 400,000 households and small businesses in NSW already have solar panels, and the next part is a $3.2billion plan to support the installation of more solar-battery and battery systems, with no upfront costs via interest-free loans. This program will supercharge the roll out of renewables and storage systems for even more households across the state.
What do you feel is the biggest issue affecting people in your electorate? More jobs, cost of living and helping people affected by the drought and I’m proud that the Nationals have already taken steps to address these issues.
How do you propose to help with this should you be elected? I will continue to fight for further solutions to these concerns. I’ll keep backing projects that produce new jobs for our kids and everyone looking for a job. I’ll keep supporting initiatives to drive down power costs. And it is imperative to have a team effort to provide all the necessary support needed by our farmers, businesses and everyone hit by this crippling drought.
I also love spending time with my wife and two daughters riding horses. It’s the kids that ride now not me! We have spent many weekends away with friends in various parts of the country at show jumping competitions, and it’s something the whole family enjoys.
Where do you stand on the second bridge / ring road for Dubbo? These are two different scenarios. The second high-level bridge (River Street) will provide the second much-needed flood proof crossing to prevent what we saw in 2010 when roads were choked and people couldn’t cross the river easily. It will also be a northern distributor for Dubbo city. I also support the need for a bypass (ring road) for Dubbo in the future and look forward to Dubbo Regional Council advancing that as an option, along with a possible low-level bridge off Minore Rd to help traffic flow.
What is your stance on a drug court for Dubbo? I support a drug court and rehab centre for Dubbo. Tackling drug and alcohol abuse is a key priority, and the Nationals in Government is committed to delivering comprehensive, safe and high-quality drug and alcohol services in our region.
The 2018-19 Budget committed $225.3 million to alcohol and other drug services. There is currently a Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’ which will investigate the nature, prevalence and impact of the drug in NSW – following the outcomes of this inquiry, the NSW Government will assess further access to drug treatment centres in a clinically informed manner.
What is your favourite hobby/activity? My main hobbies over the past 10 years have been farming and horses. Growing a few crops and fattening cattle and sheep has been a great way to connect with reality. I’ve still got a couple of jersey cows that I am milking and 20 or so chooks.